Meghalaya is among ten states that fared poorly in social progress the Social Progress Index for states and districts of India as mandated by Economic Advisory Council-Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
The Social Progress Index which was released today was prepared by the Institute for Competitiveness and Social Progress Imperative. By evaluating change in the performance of some key indicators since 2015-16, the report presents a broad picture of the social progress in India. In addition, the report highlights progress made by the 112 aspirational districts in the country, helping them track their social progress journey and understand the areas that require more attention.
Based on the SPI scores, states and districts have been ranked under six tiers of social progress. They are Tier 1: Very High Social Progress; Tier 2: High Social Progress; Tier 3: Upper Middle Social Progress; Tier 4: Lower Middle Social Progress; Tier 5: Low Social Progress; and Tier 6: Very Low Social Progress.
Meghalaya along with Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Telangana, Tripura, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra were placed in the Tier-4 of Lower Middle Social Progress.
Despite performing relatively well in terms of Personal Freedom and Choice and Water and Sanitation, these ten states have not achieved high levels of social progress in terms of Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, Access to Information and Communication, and Access to Advanced Education.
Tier-I is a status of Very High Social Progress. Nine states and union territories figured in this category. They are Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Goa, Sikkim, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, and Kerala.
These states and union territories have achieved high Social Progress Index scores due to remarkably good performance across components like Water and Sanitation, Shelter, Personal Safety, Personal Freedom, and Choice, consequently scoring well across the dimension of Basic Human Needs. The states can work on strengthening the dimension of the Foundations of Wellbeing. Out of these states, Chandigarh has the highest score for Shelter, while Goa has been a front-runner in terms of Water and Sanitation.
Tier-II of High Social Progress comprises six states and union territories, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Nagaland, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The states and UTs have attained high scores across components like Personal Safety, Water and Sanitation, Personal Rights, Personal Freedom and Choice, and Inclusiveness.
Tier-III of Upper Middle Social Progress comprises Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, and Manipur have attained the status of Upper Middle Social Progress. The states have performed well across dimensions of Basic Human Needs and Opportunity, with the highest score for components like Personal Freedom and Choice, Water and Sanitation, and Inclusiveness.
In Tier-V belonging to the category of Low Social Progress, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh are in this category. These three states have low Social Progress Index scores of 49.16, 48.19, and 48.11, respectively. Although the three states have the lowest scores across the dimension of Basic Human Needs, relatively better performance across components of Personal Rights and Personal Freedom and Choice has been observed. The states can advance their social progress by working across components like Access to Information and Communication, Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, and Access to Advanced Education.
In Tier-VI of Very Low Social Progress, three states – Assam, Bihar, and Jharkhand are in this category. Though they have relatively high scores in terms of Health and Wellness, Personal Freedom and Choice, Inclusiveness, and Personal Rights, the three states still must strengthen components of social progress like Nutrition and Basic Medical Care, Access to Information and Communication, and Access to Advanced Education to achieve high social progress.
Puducherry has the highest Social Progress Index (SPI) score of 65.99 in the country, attributable to its remarkable performance across components like Personal Freedom and Choice, Shelter, and Water and Sanitation. Lakshadweep and Goa closely follow it with scores of 65.89 and 65.53, respectively. Jharkhand and Bihar scored the lowest, 43.95 and 44.47, respectively.
For the dimension of Basic Human Needs, Goa, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Chandigarh are the top four states with the best performance in Water and Sanitation and Shelter as compared to the other states and union territories.
In addition, Goa has the highest component score for Water and Sanitation, followed by Kerala, scoring the highest across the Nutrition and Basic Medical Care component. For Shelter and Personal Safety, Chandigarh and Nagaland have emerged as the front-runners, respectively.
Mizoram, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and Goa have emerged as the best-performing states for the Foundations of Wellbeing. Within the dimension for the Access to Basic Knowledge component, Punjab has the highest component score of 62.92, while Delhi has topped the list for Access to Information and Communication with a score of 71.30. For Health and Wellness, Rajasthan has the highest component score of 73.74.
For Environmental Quality, the top three states belong to the northeast region, namely, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya.
Lastly, Tamil Nadu has achieved the highest component score of 72.00 for the Opportunity dimension. Within this dimension, Andaman and Nicobar Islands have the highest component score for Personal Rights, while Sikkim has topped the list for Inclusiveness. Puducherry attained the highest scores across two components in this dimension, i.e., Personal Freedom and Choice and Access to Advanced Education.